Qi Lu


Qi Lu


Qi Lu has had more than his fill of losing to Google. For a decade, the technologist led development of Yahoo!’s Internet search technology and watched Google eclipse his company to become the Internet’s brightest star. He left Yahoo in August with vague plans to start a company or return to his native China. Then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer came calling. He wanted Lu to consider taking over Microsoft’s online operations and lead the charge against Google one more time. Ballmer promised the company was willing to invest vast resources to compete, even if it took years to pay off. “The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a duty,” says Lu, during an interview at the software giant’s Redmond (Wash.) headquarters on a balmy May day. “There’s a chance—a genuine chance—that we can make the search landscape a whole lot more competitive and healthy.”


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